Foghorn#1 -The language. Unknown Island research series.
*File deleted* Performance: 12 mins. MAR.
Description: Performer sits legs crossed on the floor with audience crowded in standing position. Performer begins to speak a language unknown to all but herself.
The motivation for Foghorn #1 evolved from a gesture of erasing. In the initial stages of field researching global island rituals I intentionally deleted all video files of the Hungry Ghost festival in Taiwan. As a researcher I felt voyeuristic in capturing these prayers meant for others, and as an artist I felt I had not captured the true essence of these preformed rituals. Through this act of erasing, the need to preform was brought about again.
Playing with ideas of mimetic faculty I took basic sounds from my mother tongue. A language itself which only survives today due to its islander insularity. Within this conversion in a language only understood by myself, I beckoned people to answer my questions and question statements by mimicking structures of gesture and body language.
Though with this frustrated audience, isolated from the performer there became a universal misunderstanding. In their vulnerable mass they eventually turned to one another for understanding.
In Rethinking, Vulnerability and Resistance Butler discusses the mobilization of the subject which is living so independently in a society where individualism is so prioritised, she encourages vulnerability with others. As alliances often from in times of vulnerability. Though Butler highlights that we can think in terms of a social body, without collapsing the individual into this formless of an ‘everybody’ (2014. pp .4). An intimate individual experience can also happen for some audience members, between themselves and the performer. Though for the most part, the linguistic communication is incomprehensible, eye contact and body language speaks more than words could.
We can create the ‘other’ when we exoticize other cultures beyond our own. This issue came about when beginning this two year trajectory. Though instead of shutting down this research it opened it up. By changing the artistic researchers stance from the heretical voyeuristic…
Instead I the artist and performer in Foghorn #1 became the ‘other’. Distant, closed off, to be watched listened too but not understood.